Before you mass delete any cover letters you have saved and laugh in maniacal joy, I regret to inform you that cover letters very much still matter. I myself was excited to hear that they may be obsolete, but sadly, cover letters are still a huge part of getting hired. The only time you should not be using a cover letter is when a job specifically asks you not to use one. Here are a few ways cover letters offer a big boost to your application.
They Show That You Put in the Time
As difficult as applying for a job can be, it is the most basic requirement for getting a position. As accomplished as you may feel from completing an application, it is the bare minimum. If you really want an employer to see that you want this job, write a cover letter. I don’t mean digging around in your Google Drive and changing a few words from that cover letter you wrote years ago. Start from scratch. Do some research on the position and the company. Write a clear and concise letter about what skills you have to fill the position. Not only will this do a little of the recruiter’s job for them, but it will also show them that you truly care about getting this position and have put the time in to prove your worth.
They Give You a Head Start on Your Interview
Cover letters can act as a great introduction. Don’t interview well? Gain the upper hand and write a cover letter. You will automatically give yourself something to talk about and can refer back to it to control the conversation. Recruiters will get a good idea of who you are from your cover letter and will ask questions based off of it. A well-constructed letter can make the recruiter more comfortable setting up an interview with you and set you apart from the competition.
They Extend Your Resume
One of the most difficult aspects of building a resume is conserving space. You may have tons of relevant experience, but you only have so much room to express it. This could leave things out that could catch a potential employer’s eye. Should you include a job that you worked at longer, or a job that pertains more to this position? You can use your cover letter to extend your resume and include the information that you could not include on your resume. You can expand on the goals you accomplished in a more concise and interesting fashion than on a resume. Tell a story of how you helped your company solve an issue. The interviewer will insert themselves right into that story and see you making THEM money. It’s that simple.
So, it turns out that cover letters still really do matter. How much they matter, depends on you. If you don’t put a lot of effort into that cover letter, it will show. Employers always want someone who has the skills to do the job, but more importantly, they want someone who is eager to fill the position. Passion is just as important as past experience. Make your future employer feel your passion through an expertly written cover letter.